Beer of the Week: Wild Rice Amber from Northbound Brewpub

Northbound's head brewer, Jamie Robinson, testing some beers in their brewhouse
Northbound's head brewer, Jamie Robinson, testing some beers in their brewhouse

This week's beer of the week is a seasonal favorite made by last year's Best Of winner for Best Brewpub: Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub's Wild Rice Amber. 

This copper-colored specialty ale has a mild hop bitterness at the front that mellows into a maltier, vanilla-y flavor and finishes with a distinctive nutty note thanks to the rice. And there is quite a bit of rice. "I cook 35 pounds of wild rice in the kitchen just before I start brewing," says head brewer Jamie Robinson. "The cooked wild rice is added directly to the mash as 5% of the grain." Since it has so many light layers, this beer pairs very well with food, and is especially complementary to Northbound's many smoked dishes.

The Hot Dish connected with Northbound's head brewer, Jamie Robinson, to learn more about this amber ale with waves of grain.

This year's batch was released on September 6 and Robinson made it an extra big batch based on the demand from previous releases. 

"We use local wild rice from Indian Harvest in Bemidji, Minnesota. Then Crystal malts such as crystal 45, and Special B are used to add a solid malt backbone to carry the nuttiness, earthiness, and vanilla notes of the wild rice," Robinson says. "Since this beer is all about the Minnesota grown wild rice flavor, just one small hop addition is done for bittering and balance."

Wild Rice Amber is on tap now at Northbound and every so often you might even find it in one of their desserts. "We did have a poached pear cheesecake with a wild rice amber wort reduction, but that is on the way out to make room for the pumpkin porter cheesecake," says Robinson. Act fast, beer-flavored-cheesecake fans.

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Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub

2716 E. 38th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55406


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